Day 13: Long bridges, tall buildings

We set out on Monday morning for Brooklyn. The day started sunny and warm and we thought a walk across the Brooklyn bridge would be nice. So we caught the train across the Hudson and walked around Brooklyn heights for a while. 

We looked at all the original old buildings, mostly residential now, walked through the local Neighbourhood shops and had lunch at five guys burgers 

One building hidden among all the others is actually a hidden emergency escape from the subway, but you couldn’t tell from the outside, see if you can pick it from the photos. 

Mardi discovered another Sephora, seventh visit I think, but I’ve lost count. I took some photos while she browsed. 

We then made our way to the ramp to the Brooklyn bridge. An amazing walk up to the bridge, elevated above lanes and lanes of traffic in both directions. The bridge is a work of art as well as an engineering feat. It’s construction is astonishing with the main two piers at each end and the cables. 

Once we made it across the bridge, the weather had closed in a bit and sun was replaced by rain cloud. We had a hot chocolate at a little cafe near City Hall. 

We then thought we’d visit the 911 memorial. We were only a block or two from the site 

So we walked to the memorial and I was amazed by the size of the new freedom tower. It’s a massive building, towering above the skyline. 

The fountains marking the location of the original twin towers were lit and the wind and rain made the image quite eerie and forlorn. We ventured in doors to the museum and were greeted with airport type security. We then descended down some stairs into a cavernous space which marked the start of the museum. At first we thought there wasn’t much to it as we moved around the sparsely filled space. As we move around more we started to build a picture of where we were. We were under the fountains in the original sub floor levels of the original World Trade Centre buildings. We stood and looked at a massive wall hundreds of feet in height and width which was the original wall holding back the Hudson River from the sub floor levels. We saw the original foundations of the buildings. 

As we moved further into the museum the displays became more abundant 

From small items located during the search, such as watches, phones, wallets, very personal items. To large items like fire engines recovered after the building collapsed, aircraft parts, lift cable mechanisms and communication towers. The damage sustained to these items presents the sheer force of the impacts. There is a piece of gunk, no other word can describe it, of fused metal, building and other bits and pieces that had been compressed and heated that was the size of a minibus. 

We then moved into the main hall which depicted the time line leading up to the morning, what happened on the morning of 911 and the time afterwards. Flight paths, cockpit recorder details, videos, security footage, text messages from people in buildings, in aircraft. 

We didn’t fell emotional or upset at all, but we were amazed at the enormity of the incident and the detail and intricacy of rebuilding such an incident for generations to follow to understand how important this incident was to the world. We also saw and learned more about the pentagon and fourth plane which was hi jacked that day. So much focus is on the world trade centres it’s easy for overlook these other two planes. 

In all we spent over three hours just walking, reading, watching. It’s was both interesting and overwhelming and incredibly well put together. The space is an amazing space.

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